The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan
In the introduction to her stunning first novel, Padma Viswanathan describes her grandmother’s faltering attempts to recount their family history. “This time, she started farther back,” she writes of one occasion, “with a story I’d never heard: of her own grandmother, married as a child and widowed before she was out of her teens; of that grandmother’s son, childless and embittered; and her daughter, my grandmother’s mother, victimized by her marriage.”
After trips to India, enormous amounts of research, and not a little invention, the result is The Toss of a Lemon. The brilliance of The Toss of a Lemon rests not so much in its intricate plotting as in the compressed, poetic precision with which Viswanathan depicts a lost world.
Padma Viswanathan is a Canadian playwright and fiction writer. Her plays include "House of Sacred Cows,". She has also published short stories in several American and Canadian journals. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with her husband, the poet/translator Geoffrey Brock, and their two children.